RV Life – Could You Learn How To Live Without Internet

We recently heard about an interesting project that a young writer has taken on. Paul Miller, a technology writer for the online magazine Verge, began a life without the Internet on May 1, 2012. You can read about Paul’s project and his ongoing progress HERE.

He describes various reasons for trying this Internet-free life, but I’m cynically sure that one is that  he will be able to write a book about his experiences and profit from it, and he continues to be paid as a writer for the magazine – which he still is, even without connections. He hopes to learn what it is like to be without something that, as a young person, he has grown up with and grown attached to in so many ways. So far he believes that the change has been a positive one, but only 3 months have passed. We’ll see how he does.

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The whole idea made me think once again about certain ironies that  hover around this lifestyle. We are members of that group of RVers that is known as the non-retired, still-working crowd. We are not relying on our investments to support us because we have none, and we don’t want to stay in one place so that we can work at a job, either. So as with many of our peers and colleagues, we try to make a living using technology, specifically the Internet and computers connected to it.

The reason this is ironic is that technology is one of those ill-defined things we decided to cut back on in the process of simplifying our lives. Much of the stuff we left behind was technology-related. Also, I have been using the Internet since the first browser was available (Mosaic) back in 1994, and I have maintained an interest in anti-technology writers and thinkers who have accompanied and followed the growth of the online world. These folks have been worried from the start about the effects our over-use of this technology might have on us as human beings, on our society, our culture, and life on earth in general. As the years go by and we become more dependent on this way of life, the warnings seem to fade only because everybody’s doing it, and it’s a runaway train – too late to stop now, even if we wanted to.

Now we have a situation that seems kind of upside down – someone is taking a year off from information technology, and if he makes it through this incredibly painful experience will be back online the second after 365 days have passed. On the other hand, we often wish that we didn’t have to use a computer for our work, because we know that there are side effects from all of this. Just for example, I have noticed over the years that my reading habits have changed – I tend to skim books much more that I used to do. I have what some would call addictions to checking email and surfing websites that bother me. I’m sure that sitting too long and staring at this machine is not good for my health, but I do it anyway because I have to, and it only gets worse as I get older. All in all, I would love to stop using IT for a year and get paid for it – anyone out there interested in a new project? Maybe something like, old guy who has used computers for too long wants to quit – will he be able to do it? I could write a book about it too – on my typewriter.

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4 Responses to RV Life – Could You Learn How To Live Without Internet

  1. Maria says:

    Well…. if you’re over 30 you grew up at least partly with no internet. So could we do it? Sure… we DID do it.

    In fact I know many people today who live without it. And they don’t seem to miss it at all.

    As for myself, I could do it again. I’d just get busy with other things and pretty soon it would be just another memory. But it would make my world smaller and I’d miss all the people I know because of the internet.

    Plus I couldn’t read your blog 🙂

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Hi Maria! Thanks for posting!

      It is funny but Jim is quite older than me…but I am the one who slipped through the cracks with the computer age. When I got to college, I still did papers on the typewriter, though a few computers were available in the dorm…I just didn’t know how to use them…never taught in high school! I was too young to really care, while Jim was older and up on these “advances.”

      When we got married, he had to show me how to use a computer…he had one, I never did. To be honest, and I know our blog wouldn’t exist without the internet, I really liked those quieter times. In fact, I would love to ditch cell phones first…Jim and I were joking the other day, while grocery shopping, that the next generation will all be hunchbacked from walking and texting 24 hours a day. Actually, not funny, is it?

  2. dave says:

    I thought about going without underwear for a year and blogging about it. I digress.

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Jim and I were sitting side by side this morning, and almost spit out our coffee simultaneously! Thanks for the funny start to our day!